Ross expedition

HMS Erebus and HMS Terror in the Antarctic, by James Wilson Carmichael, 1847.
Portrait of Sir James Clark Ross by John R. Wildman. The object lower right is a dip circle.
One of the expedition's ships, either HMS Erebus or HMS Terror, from the Illustrated London News, 1845
Wandering of South Magnetic Pole from observation, starting with Ross, and prediction
Adélie penguin, from the Ross Expedition to the Antarctic of 1839–1843. The Zoology of the Voyage of HMS Erebus and Terror Vol 1, 1875. Drawn by C. Hillman
Title page of Flora Antarctica, 1844–1846
Fagus betuloides (Flora Antarctica, Plate CXXIV)
The red alga Nitophyllum smithi

Voyage of scientific exploration of the Antarctic in 1839 to 1843, led by James Clark Ross, with two unusually strong warships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.

- Ross expedition
HMS Erebus and HMS Terror in the Antarctic, by James Wilson Carmichael, 1847.

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Sea ice in the Ross Sea

Ross Sea

Deep bay of the Southern Ocean in Antarctica, between Victoria Land and Marie Byrd Land and within the Ross Embayment, and is the southernmost sea on Earth.

Deep bay of the Southern Ocean in Antarctica, between Victoria Land and Marie Byrd Land and within the Ross Embayment, and is the southernmost sea on Earth.

Sea ice in the Ross Sea
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Bloom in the Ross Sea, January 2011

The Ross Sea was discovered by the Ross expedition in 1841.

'Erebus' and the 'Terror' in New Zealand, August 1841, by John Wilson Carmichael.

HMS Erebus (1826)

Constructed by the Royal Navy in Pembroke dockyard, Wales, in 1826.

Constructed by the Royal Navy in Pembroke dockyard, Wales, in 1826.

'Erebus' and the 'Terror' in New Zealand, August 1841, by John Wilson Carmichael.
Erebus officers:Top row left to right:Lt. Edward Couch (mate); James Walter Fairholme; Charles Hamilton Osmer (Purser); Charles Frederick Des Voeux [2nd Mate]. 2nd row from top Left to right: Francis Crozier (HMS Terror); Sir John Franklin; James FitzJames. 3rd row from top left to right: Graham Gore (Commander); Stephen Samuel Stanley (Surgeon); 2nd Lt. Henry Thomas Dundas Le Vesconte. Bottom row left to right: Robert Orme Sergeant [1st mate]; James Reid [MAster]; Harry Duncan Goodsir {Assistant Surgeon); Henry Foster Collins (2nd Master), sketches from daguerreotypes by Richard Beard – The Illustrated London News (1845)
Model of Erebus trapped in the ice, Nattilik Heritage Centre, Gjoa Haven, September 2019
Ship's bell from HMS Erebus, bearing the date 1845, at the Nattilik Heritage Centre, Gjoa Haven, 2019
On board Parks Canada's archeology support barge "Qiniqtiryuaq" beside the wreck of HMS Erebus, September 2019
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper appearing at a gala to celebrate the discovery of HMS Erebus, one of two ships wrecked during John Franklin's lost expedition, at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto

The ship took part in the Ross expedition of 1839–1843, and was abandoned in 1848 during the third Franklin expedition.

A painting by Admiral Sir George Back showing HMS Terror anchored near a cathedral-like iceberg in the waters around Baffin Island

HMS Terror (1813)

Specialised warship and a newly developed bomb vessel constructed for the Royal Navy in 1813.

Specialised warship and a newly developed bomb vessel constructed for the Royal Navy in 1813.

A painting by Admiral Sir George Back showing HMS Terror anchored near a cathedral-like iceberg in the waters around Baffin Island
"Erebus" and "Terror" in New Zealand on the Ross expedition, August 1841, by John Wilson Carmichael
Sample of dishware carried by Terror, showing vessel name and the cypher for King George.
HMS Terror was found off the south coast of King William Island, highlighted.

She was converted into a polar exploration ship two decades later, and participated in George Back's Arctic expedition of 1836–1837, the successful Ross expedition to the Antarctic of 1839 to 1843, and Sir John Franklin's ill-fated attempt to force the Northwest Passage in 1845, during which she was lost with all hands along with.

Observed south dip poles during 1903–2000 are yellow squares. IGRF-12 Modeled pole locations from 1590 to 2020 are circles progressing from blue to yellow.

South magnetic pole

Point on Earth's Southern Hemisphere where the geomagnetic field lines are directed vertically upwards.

Point on Earth's Southern Hemisphere where the geomagnetic field lines are directed vertically upwards.

Observed south dip poles during 1903–2000 are yellow squares. IGRF-12 Modeled pole locations from 1590 to 2020 are circles progressing from blue to yellow.

Early unsuccessful attempts to reach the magnetic south pole included those of French explorer Dumont d'Urville (1837–40), American Charles Wilkes (expedition of 1838–42) and Briton James Clark Ross (expedition of 1839 to 1843).

1834 painting of James Clark Ross

James Clark Ross

1834 painting of James Clark Ross
Illustration of the discovery of the North Magnetic Pole from Robert Huish's 1835 book.
Ross expedition in the Antarctic, 1847, by John Carmichael
"E.I. 1849": and, inscribed by a crew member of the Ross expedition on Somerset Island
James Clark Ross, depicted in 1850 by Stephen Pearce

Sir James Clark Ross (15 April 1800 – 3 April 1862) was a British Royal Navy officer and polar explorer known for his explorations of the Arctic, participating in two expeditions led by his uncle Sir John Ross, and four led by Sir William Parry, and, in particular, for his own Antarctic expedition from 1839 to 1843.

Model of a mortar aboard Foudroyante, a French bomb vessel of the 1800s

Bomb vessel

Type of wooden sailing naval ship.

Type of wooden sailing naval ship.

Model of a mortar aboard Foudroyante, a French bomb vessel of the 1800s
Bomb vessels attacking Fort McHenry during the Battle of Baltimore
Granado bomb vessel, launched in 1742. It has two mortars inline. National Maritime Museum, London.
Fort Pulaski under fire. 1 May 1862.
In this painting of the Battle of Copenhagen (1801) by Nicholas Pocock, Royal Navy bomb vessels in the left foreground fire over the British and Danish lines of battle into Copenhagen in the background

and served as polar exploration vessels. Terror had been used by George Back in his 1836 Arctic expedition, in Sir James Clark Ross's own expedition of 1840 to the Antarctic, before they were lost on Sir John Franklin's lost expedition of 1845.

Ross Ice Shelf situated between Marie Byrd Land and Victoria Land

Ross Ice Shelf

Largest ice shelf of Antarctica .

Largest ice shelf of Antarctica .

Ross Ice Shelf situated between Marie Byrd Land and Victoria Land
Crevasse, Ross Ice Shelf in 2001
"The mystic Barrier" at Bay of Whales, near where Amundsen first encountered it. Note humans for size comparison (dark spots next to the large chunk of sea ice at left image border). RV Nathaniel B. Palmer is in the distance.
Ross Ice Shelf edge in 1997
Glacier-ice shelf interactions
Main drill site for the New Zealand 2017 hot water drill camp on the Ross Ice Shelf

On 5 January 1841, the British Admiralty's Ross expedition in the Erebus and the Terror, three-masted ships with specially strengthened wooden hulls, was going through the pack ice of the Pacific near Antarctica in an attempt to determine the position of the South Magnetic Pole.

Anorthoclase crystal (45 mm long) from Mt. Erebus

Mount Erebus

Second-highest volcano in Antarctica , the highest active volcano in Antarctica, and the southernmost active volcano on Earth.

Second-highest volcano in Antarctica , the highest active volcano in Antarctica, and the southernmost active volcano on Earth.

Anorthoclase crystal (45 mm long) from Mt. Erebus
Photograph of Mount Erebus taken by the Terra Nova Expedition
Topographic map of Ross Island (1:250,000 scale) Mount Erebus is in the lower left. Mount Bird is in the upper left. Mount Terra Nova is in the middle. Mount Terror is in the right.
Aerial view of Mount Erebus craters
Satellite picture of Mount Erebus showing glow from its persistent lava lake
Mount Erebus in December 1955

Mount Erebus was discovered on 27 January 1841 (and observed to be in eruption), by polar explorer Sir James Clark Ross on his Antarctic expedition, who named it and its companion, Mount Terror, after his ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror (which were later used by Sir John Franklin on his disastrous Arctic expedition).

Ross seal

True seal (family Phocidae) with a range confined entirely to the pack ice of Antarctica.

True seal (family Phocidae) with a range confined entirely to the pack ice of Antarctica.

First described during the Ross expedition in 1841, it is the smallest, least abundant and least well known of the Antarctic pinnipeds.

The Arctic Council planning a search for Sir John Franklin by Stephen Pearce, 1851. Left to right are: Sir George Back, Sir William Edward Parry, Edward Bird, Sir James Clark Ross, Sir Francis Beaufort (seated), John Barrow, Jnr., Sir Edward Sabine, William A. Baillie-Hamilton, Sir John Richardson and Frederick William Beechey.

Franklin's lost expedition

Failed British voyage of Arctic exploration led by Captain Sir John Franklin that departed England in 1845 aboard two ships, and, and was assigned to traverse the last unnavigated sections of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic and to record magnetic data to help determine whether a better understanding could aid navigation.

Failed British voyage of Arctic exploration led by Captain Sir John Franklin that departed England in 1845 aboard two ships, and, and was assigned to traverse the last unnavigated sections of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic and to record magnetic data to help determine whether a better understanding could aid navigation.

The Arctic Council planning a search for Sir John Franklin by Stephen Pearce, 1851. Left to right are: Sir George Back, Sir William Edward Parry, Edward Bird, Sir James Clark Ross, Sir Francis Beaufort (seated), John Barrow, Jnr., Sir Edward Sabine, William A. Baillie-Hamilton, Sir John Richardson and Frederick William Beechey.
Sir John Franklin was Barrow's reluctant choice to lead the expedition.
Portrait of Jane Griffin (later Lady Franklin), 24, in 1815. She married John Franklin in 1828, a year before he was knighted.
Captain Francis Crozier, executive officer for the expedition, commanded.
Commander James Fitzjames commanded the expedition's flagship,.
Erebus officers:Top row left to right:Lt. Edward Couch (mate); James Walter Fairholme; Charles Hamilton Osmer (Purser); Charles Frederick Des Voeux [2nd Mate]. 2nd row from top Left to right: Francis Crozier (HMS Terror); Sir John Franklin; James FitzJames. 3rd row from top left to right: Graham Gore (Commander); Stephen Samuel Stanley (Surgeon); 2nd Lt. Henry Thomas Dundas Le Vesconte. Bottom row left to right: Robert Orme Sergeant [1st mate]; James Reid [MAster]; Harry Duncan Goodsir (Assistant Surgeon); Henry Foster Collins (2nd Master), sketches from daguerreotypes by Richard Beard – The Illustrated London News (1845)
Engraving of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror departing for the Arctic in 1845
Relics of the Franklin expedition found in 1857 by McClintock
Model of Erebus trapped in the ice, Nattilik Heritage Centre, Gjoa Haven, Nunavut
The "Victory Point" note
Lieutenant Graham Gore, who alongside Charles Frederick Des Voeux signed and deposited the Victory Point Note in May 1847.
Poster offering a reward for help in finding the expedition
William Hobson and his men finding the cairn with the "Victory Point" note, Back Bay, King William Island, May 1859
Sites of remains of Franklin's Lost Expedition
Side-scan sonar images of the first ship found from the Franklin Expedition, HMS Erebus
Statue of John Franklin in his home town of Spilsby, Lincolnshire, England.
Statue of Francis Crozier in his home town of Banbridge, County Down.
Illustration by Édouard Riou for the title page of Jules Verne's Voyages et aventures du capitaine Hatteras (Journeys and Adventures of Captain Hatteras)
Man Proposes, God Disposes by Edwin Landseer, 1864
The four graves at Franklin Camp near the harbour on Beechey Island, Nunavut, Canada.
(L–R) Three grave stones commemorate John Torrington, William Braine and John Hartnell of the Franklin Expedition. A fourth headstone marks the grave of a sailor named Thomas Morgan who came later in a Franklin search expedition and died at the camp.

The expedition was to consist of two ships, and, both of which had been used for James Clark Ross's expedition to the Antarctic in 1841–1844, during which Crozier had commanded Terror.